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US Considers Boosting Troop Levels in Iraq


The United States is considering boosting the number of troops it has in Iraq ahead of elections there set for Jan. 27.

The deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, Lt.-Gen. Lance Smith, told Friday, the number of additional troops would depend on the security situation following the assault on Fallujah, but would "probably be an additional brigade's worth of forces" -- up to several thousand soldiers.

Gen. Smith says the Pentagon is primarily considering an extension of the tours of duty of soldiers already in Iraq, because experienced troops are needed to cope with an expected increase in violence.

The United States now has about 138,000 troops in Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.
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